National Newswatch

With ‘pragmatic’ label Erin O’Toole sheds true blue image

Jan 19 2021 — John Robson — Erin O’Toole just announced that he has no principles. Which I suppose has the merit of avoiding subsequent disappointment. But otherwise it is not a boast in public life, as it would not be privately. “The Conservatives are a moderate, pragmatic, mainstream party — as old as Confederation — that sits squarely in the centre […]

Stop asking Trudeau to do something. It’s better when he doesn’t try

Feb 26 2020 — John Robson — As Canada suffers a series of blows from blockades to COVID-19 to the self-cancellation of the Teck Frontier mine, many people think the prime minister is AWOL. Why doesn’t he do something? Unfortunately, he thinks he already is. As a general rule, before complaining about some politician’s inactivity, excessive vacations, etc. you should consider whether […]

Baird has a bold plan to … do what, exactly?

Feb 11 2020 — John Robson — Concerned that the federal Tory leadership race might become a contest between one Red Tory retread insider from Eastern Canada, John Baird is pondering leaping into the fray. Bringing with him “true blue” beliefs that are, one gathers, firm but flexible. He was running Pierre Poilievre’s leadership campaign until the latter discovered he had a […]

Here’s some important political advice for Lisa Raitt

Jun 18 2019 — John Robson — Don’t make friends of your enemies by making enemies of your friends. And don’t say things you aren’t prepared to defend. Dear Ms. Raitt: How’s it going? No, I shouldn’t ask. You tweeted something about climate change without thinking then retracted it in a panic and now look spineless and clueless. So here’s some advice. […]

Andrew Scheer has chosen a weird moment to go soft

May 28 2019 — John Robson — Not much surprises me in politics anymore. At least not if it’s feebly bad. But is this really the time for Andrew Scheer to go mushy on balancing the budget? The CBC thinks so, saying “The Liberals were counting on tying Scheer to the Ford government’s austerity. That’s going to be harder now.” Um didn’t […]

If we’re offering advice, here’s mine for Scheer and Trudeau

Jan 12 2018 — John Robson — Coming soon to a political party near you: Exciting promises of yet more government. Unless my bucket of cold water gets there first. My Post colleague John Ivison just offered some “observations and advice” for 2018, starting with, “The Liberals really, really need to legalize pot by Canada Day” to shake “the ‘promise-breakers’ tag” and […]

The problem is, much of the blame for the Liberals’ failures really does belong to the voters

Feb 6 2017 — John Robson — When the Trudeau Liberals folded like cheap lawn furniture on electoral reform, a number of people denounced them as arrogant liars. But what if they sincerely meant what millions of voters sincerely believed? NDP leader Thomas Mulcair called their promise that first-past-the-post would soon be toast “a massive political deception.” (Yes, he is still their […]

Trudeau slips up and reveals his preference for Quebec again

Jan 25 2017 — John Robson — We got quite a blast from the past last week when Justin Trudeau refused to answer questions in English on his reconnecting with Canadians tour “since we’re in Quebec.” What was the nice man thinking? OK. Maybe he wasn’t “thinking” in the normal sense of that word. We have long known he tends to stick […]

Parliament should have a vote on Supreme Court appointments

Aug 2 2016 — John Robson — Canada finally has a semi-transparent system for choosing Supreme Court judges. And high time too. Provided it works as advertised, which things in government rarely do. In announcing the new process Prime Minister Justin Trudeau notes the outsized influence of Supreme Court judges in overruling parliament, influencing our economy and “cultural mores” and redefining our […]

The Liberals’ unnecessary pot problem

Jun 6 2016 — John Robson — Having promised to legalize marijuana, the Trudeau ministry is now trying to figure out how. It’s not the sort of thing that should perplex people in government. Trudeau’s often-mocked pledge to legalize pot was entirely sensible on all kinds of grounds. First, a free society does not tell adults how to conduct their personal affairs. […]

Unity through division won’t help Alberta unite the right

May 9 2016 — John Robson — There are any number of ways a proposal to unite the right in Alberta — by splitting it further — could fail. The most likely is also the most obvious: by adding a third conservative option to the Progressive Conservative and Wildrose parties, as suggested by a new grassroots organization, votes on the right would […]